I need advice for a 3 week liquid diet
March 15, 2011 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me with a temporary liquid diet due to dental surgery. This will last 2 to 3 weeks. What kinds of tasty stuff might I find at the grocery store - especially non-obvious options? Complication: I don't own a blender. And I don't really cook.

The only "no" is No Chewing.
I've already loaded up on lots of soups.
For snacks, I bought yogurt, but I'd love other options.
My dentist recommended Carnation Instant Breakfast.
What other stuff should I be buying?
I especially enjoy savory food.
posted by 2oh1 to Food & Drink (45 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
"just add water" mashed potatoes, ice cream, baby food, mashed bananas, ensure, oatmeal
posted by raztaj at 7:04 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Honestly, I'd buy a blender for $15. Even if you never use it again, that's less than a dollar a day to be able to make smoothies from fresh fruit, puree canned soups into liquid form, and generally reduce anything you want to eat to baby food. Totally worth it, IMHO.
posted by decathecting at 7:07 PM on March 15, 2011 [9 favorites]

Hummus. Guacamole (or just mashed avocado.) Cottage cheese. Applesauce.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:09 PM on March 15, 2011

Carrot juice and other veggie juices are really good, and very filling to me. Goats milk is also really good, especially if you don't mind the goaty taste (hint, if you like goat cheese, you'll be ok). Jello, if don't let it set, will give you have a really awesome but REALLY sweet drink.

Oh! Saag Paneer or other Saag dishes would be good, as they require no chewing if prepared correctly (break up the paneer a bit, and it melts right in your mouth or can be swallowed whole).
posted by strixus at 7:10 PM on March 15, 2011

Response by poster: Hummus? Sounds like a great idea, but I've only seen it spread on bread/etc. Hummus, without spreading it on something?

"Oh! Saag Paneer or other Saag dishes would be good"

Great idea! Great idea! Great idea! Great idea! Great idea! Great idea!
posted by 2oh1 at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2011

No blender? Seriously? I just bought one of those single-serve blenders for about 20 bucks & can't believe I went so long without one. You *really* ought to consider the investment. Or at least borrow one from a friend for the 2 weeks. If you do find one, you can make the most amazing smoothies by grating a carrot, throwing in about a cup of milk, a couple tablespoons of sugar, and some ice cubes. Best. milkshake. ever. Right up there with mint chocolate chip shakes.
posted by Ys at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

you could also probably do tuna salad if you mash it up well (or get those pre-made tuna salad kits), cream of wheat, daal/lentils are really easy to make if you're willing to do some light cooking (and filling on a liquidy diet). Pudding. You could also probably do risotto or some mushy rice. V8.
posted by raztaj at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2011

I eat straight hummus all the time.

I make something I call Hummus Soup, which is just a few cups of water, a tablespoon of tahini (though I'll often use different things for the fat part. My last batch, I used unsweetened, shredded coconut), chick peas, carrots, garlic, pepper, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, a bit of ginger and your favorite hot pepper (I use aleppo). I use dry chickpeas, so I soak overnight then pop everything in my crockpot for 8 hours. You can also buy canned and just simmer the whole thing for an hour or so.

When it's done, you can mash everything up to a nice creamy texture. (if you don't mash it, it's Hummus Stew) Glop into a mug, add as much lemon juice and water as you want and slurp away. Makes for a great, quick lunch.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:24 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

also, couscous! there are some pretty decent packaged kits at most grocery stores these days. i've had oral surgery twice in the past year and a half. variety is the key. you'd be surprised how much you get sick of yogurt, ice cream, and applesauce in like a day and a half.
posted by raztaj at 7:25 PM on March 15, 2011

You can do hummus by itself. It's fun on pita/carrots/etc., but I'd certainly work it into the rotation if my food choices were this restricted for two to three weeks. Great call by strixus on saag dishes.

Some cheeses are soft enough that you don't really need to chew them, at least if you're just talking about a small piece. Possibly banana? Mashed potatoes. Mashed sweet potatoes?
posted by J. Wilson at 7:26 PM on March 15, 2011

I guess one thing that might help with suggestions is knowing exactly what state you're in - I had jaw surgery once upon a time, and my teeth were wired shut with no significant space in between, so things had to be liquid liquid. Are you able to open your mouth and just shouldn't chew?
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:31 PM on March 15, 2011

This is what I had to say about liquid diets last time.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 7:39 PM on March 15, 2011

Look I know the concept is a bit rough, but Clamato, some ground horseradish, and Tabasco are pretty much the definition of awesome when combined (with or without an -OH group). If you can't stomach the clams, straight V8 is a pretty good substitute.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:40 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you were local I'd lend you my blender. Get one anyhow, they're nice to have.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:41 PM on March 15, 2011

when I had my wisdom teeth pulled in a particularly nasty extraction, I lived on cream of wheat. I like savory food, too, so I usually had it with some snipped chives and parm, or minced garlic and a couple smashed roasted tomatoes, or other yummy savory things. Damn, cream of wheat is good.
posted by peachfuzz at 7:48 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just wanted to say good luck with your dental surgery. I have been there a couple times and know what it's like to have to avoid solids. I can't think of much of anything to add - lots of great suggestions. I didn't see Jell-o or instant pudding - that might be a nice treat. How about ice cream?
posted by Calzephyr at 7:48 PM on March 15, 2011

You can check thrift stores for blenders if cost is an issue, the older models tend to last forever, but are heavy and look dated so people get rid of them.

I came to second mashed potatoes. You'll get tired of sweet things fast, and you can used mashed potatoes as a vehicle for proteins like melted cheese, possibly really finely ground turkey, etc. You can even buy prepared mashed potatoes and just thin them out with milk.
posted by charmcityblues at 7:49 PM on March 15, 2011

Try coconut water (young coconut juice) and aloe vera juice as nutritious, refreshing drinks that are also delicious. Swirl some of that yogurt into whatever hot soup you're eating. Roast some cut tomatoes tossed in herbs and olive oil at around 200°F for a few hours and eat like it's candy. Eat candy.

also don't always listen to people on the internet
posted by therewolf at 7:53 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Buy a blender. You can get one for $15 or less at any big box retailer. It will vastly expand your options.
posted by kjs3 at 7:57 PM on March 15, 2011

Response by poster: My dental surgery is pretty simple. Crown lengthening toward the right rear of my mouth. So, my jaw isn't wired shut or anything like that. I had it done this afternoon and I'm not even sore, really (not bad considering that I'm only taking Advil). I was told NO Chewing. I'm trying to follow my dentist's directions to the letter, so... no chewing :)

Cost isn't the issue for the blender. The issue is a small kitchen with all of its storage filled, plus it's a gadget that would just sit unused. I've owned blenders before. Never used them. Eventually I dropped them off at good will. I don't really cook. In fact, I don't even enjoy cooking. If this were a long term situation, I'd grudgingly buy one and start making things (or, really, I'd buy one and then have it go unused because I don't enjoy making things)... but this will all be over in 3 weeks.
posted by 2oh1 at 8:10 PM on March 15, 2011

When I got my wisdom teeth out, I lived on plain Greek yogurt and applesauce. Ensure is tastier when served on ice.
posted by Sara Anne at 8:25 PM on March 15, 2011

I know you mentioned savory, but instant custard is good for a day or two. I survived on the stuff after getting my wisdom teeth extracted.

A general word of warning- don't eat anything too much, to the point that you can't stand it anymore. It can happen easily if you restrict yourself too much to any particular food.
posted by Hactar at 8:55 PM on March 15, 2011

Ooooh ume plums or umeboshi are so savory pickly delicious--you must try them! Actually, you can buy them mashed up into a paste, which should work for you and is how I have most often consumed them. Good on sushi, good with cucumber, served with rice or in a rice ball in Japan, and I bet would be awesome stirred into a soup with miso & tofu. Now my mouth is watering.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 8:59 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Runny scrambled eggs, I slurped these up after I had an extraction recently (lots of proteins for good healing). If you don't cook them yourselves(it takes 5 minutes) you can get them at a restaurant.
posted by thylacine at 9:21 PM on March 15, 2011

Super-runny refried beans. Just keep mixing in water or broth and mash away until everything is good and soupy. Makes a nice break from the mashed potatoes. You can stir in a little sour cream for an extra treat.
posted by Aquaman at 9:58 PM on March 15, 2011

The Kanye West liquid diet
posted by j03 at 2:11 AM on March 16, 2011

Whey protein is cheap, nutritious, and tasty. There are a ton of great ideas in this thread, but I imagine you are going to get frustrated and want a quick and easy meal. Many have vitamin and minerals added that you may be missing from the lack of fruits and veggies.

Another thing to consider is bran. You are going to be short on fiber and won't want to add bowel problems. Plus, all that fiber will make you feel full longer.

Best of luck.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:56 AM on March 16, 2011

I'm kind of surprised that no one's mentioned actual baby food.
posted by Caravantea at 3:12 AM on March 16, 2011

Seconding "get a blender"! Definitely borrow one from a friend. 3 weeks is a long time.

And definitely seconding the avocado, and the hummus! You can make a hearty hummus that can taste filling just by itself (just add more tahini, use a heartier bean than chickpeas, or what I do: throw some raw almonds into the recipe). Only, one trick for great hummus is enough lemon juice, and you might not want the acid getting into your dental work. You could, however--as I have--use the hummus in smoothies.

You can use a wide straw, placed at the back of your throat, to drink them if you don't want anything hitting your teeth. I've been in the same situation lately with a toothache, so for a week I've been making smoothies for every meal. You can experiment with fruit and avocados, full-fat plain yogurt, nuts, or green-themed or veggie smoothies, and really you can turn any meal into a smoothie--even green salads, with some e.v. olive olive oil & V8. I have found that V8 Juice (low sodium) is great to have around as a base for more savory smoothies.

(And NOT seconding anything thats sugary like ice-cream the Jello--especially if you've had teeth removed or drilled into, which can dump toxins and bacteria into your bloodstream. Sugar is known as an immune system depressant. But wait--I just read that you didn't have those things done...)

Good luck!
posted by Thinkmontgolfier at 4:37 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Along the cream-of-wheat line, but very savory: make grits but add cheese. I usually use (real, not green can) parmesean. Grits can soak up a surprising amount of cheese if you keep stirring. Make small amounts and eat it before it firms up. (This will probably get me in trouble with traditionalists.)
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 5:07 AM on March 16, 2011

Rather than runny scrambled eggs as thylacine suggests, soft boiled eggs are the easiest kind to eat without chewing, as long as they really are soft boiled and not beginning to harden. They are really good. Rather than trying to eat them out of the shell in an egg cup, this will work best if you just empty them into a bowl and mix them up first.
posted by grizzled at 6:04 AM on March 16, 2011

If space is an issue for the blender, I am sure that you have a friend or neighbor that would be willing to lend you one for a few weeks while you recover! It would greatly expand your food possibilities.
posted by amicamentis at 6:12 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

You can buy individual sauce packets or tubs from a lot of restaurants (Papa John's, for example) and get a crazy large array of liquid tastes that way. Then add to whatever bland base you want.
posted by anaelith at 6:33 AM on March 16, 2011

Still buy a blender, use the hell out of it for three weeks, and then donate it to Goodwill. Better even if you buy it from Goodwill in the first place. I'm sure the $20 bucks pales in comparison to what you paid for the dental work.
posted by deadmessenger at 6:43 AM on March 16, 2011

Was there tissue grafting done as well? I'm having a hard time thinking that a completely liquid diet is necessary for a crown lengthening. You don't have an open wound, like after extractions, or an implant that needs some time to stabilize. I wonder if the office has a general aftercare instruction sheet that covers everything, and is way overkill for crown lengthening.
posted by Jazz Hands at 6:51 AM on March 16, 2011

Sorry, more questions: Do you have stitches that need to be taken out in a week at their office? I'd confirm the diet instructions with them, when they check healing.

It seems to me, what you are calling a "Liquid" diet, is in fact a "Soft Food" diet, which is a lot easier to get calories in with some variety and flavor. A lot of flavors can be put into scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, grits, roasted cauliflower, squash, root veggies can be smashed up with chicken broth. Soft cheeses, most canned soups are good. Even PBJ sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches on very soft bread(Maybe cut the crusts off)

I think the main concern with harder foods such as corn chips, is that they can poke into the surgical site and tear open the incision. It isn't so much that the tooth gets a little biting pressure, it's the wound site is healing. Three weeks of soft diet is more than we put people on after major extractions, so I'm a little confused by your instructions. (Again, unless we are talking about tissue/bone grafting)
posted by Jazz Hands at 7:11 AM on March 16, 2011

When I had my wisdom teeth extracted, I ate lots of very soft scrambled egg. In the first few days I also sucked on spoonfuls of peanut butter in the beginning which had the advantage that you don't need to eat a lot of PB to feel full. Sticks to your gums/tongue, but somehow that was not a problem for me. Later, apple sauce.

(I also had stocked up on jarred baby food. I ate two spoonfuls and then threw away, like, 5 jars, because it was so disgusting and slimy, even though I'd gone for the most expensive "gourmet" brand.)
posted by The Toad at 8:47 AM on March 16, 2011

After my wisdom teeth excited my mouth I lived for days on exclusively yogurt, liquid soup, hummus (yes, off a spoon by itself), and supplemented it all with protein-rich baby food (chicken puree and such). Once I could open my mouth a little bit and move my tongue without pain I ate a lot of curries and pasta that was boiled very-very well. The trick was to squish whatever was not liquid against the roof of my mouth with my tongue instead of chewing.

Baby food does not taste good. No wonder babies spit it out!
posted by Shusha at 8:55 AM on March 16, 2011

My go-to food for soft diets is a can of Dinty Moore beef stew. Put a spoonful in a bowl and use a knife/fork to smash it all up into the tiniest of pieces. Because they are canned, they are very soft so you can squish them against the roof of your mouth (like Shusha mentions).

Other canned pasta/stew-type foods will work, as will soup, even if it has little bits of stuff in it. Either mash the bits up, or strain them out and eat the liquid part. It's a good way to get more complex savory flavors. After days of sweet soft stuff, I was dying for savory.
posted by CathyG at 9:03 AM on March 16, 2011

Peach Kefir. Nectar of the gods.
Hmm. That link doesn't make it look so good. But you can buy it at Trader Joe's.
Seriously good.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:25 AM on March 16, 2011

Response by poster: Jazz Hands: "Do you have stitches that need to be taken out in a week at their office?"
Yes. And then I'm having a second crown lengthening done... and a second week of stitches. Add a third week for healing if necessary? I'm assuming that, by April 1st, I'll be through this.

"It seems to me, what you are calling a "Liquid" diet, is in fact a "Soft Food" diet"
You're probably right. It's a soft diet more than a liquid diet. No Chewing is the rule, and I'm one of those Follow The Rules people because I feel more comfortable working within a system. No chewing? No alcohol? No problem. Lots of the suggestions above have already helped. Granted, today is only day 2 of 14 to 21... but I'm living. I'm in some pain, but not enough to require medication beyond Advil.

This may sound dumb, but I'm still confused about Hummus. Eating Hummus with a spoon seems bizarre. Then again, I'll probably try it! I'm going to buy myself a frigging 7 layer dip this weekend, and that'll be weird without chips... but hey... the one I saw in the store today had nothing in it that needed to be chewed. I figure it'll make a tasty treat. I'm sticking to more liquidy stuff for now though. Especially today since my jaw hurts.
posted by 2oh1 at 10:43 AM on March 16, 2011

When I had a molar pulled/bone chips put in last fall, I ate a whole lot of hummus with a spoon. You'll get used to it, I promise. I'd eat about a quarter of a little tub at a time. Get different varieties of hummus. Lemony! Garlicky! Baba ganoush for a little variety! It was one of the few things I could eat that didn't taste bland to me, which is probably why I ate so much.

Before I had my tooth pulled, I wandered around the grocery store buying anything that looked soft and appealing. I also ate baked sweet potatoes, rice pudding, sorbet, bananas, guacamole (also with a spoon), yogurt, and a childhood favorite -- cottage cheese mixed with applesauce. I also bought a bunch of those odwalla protein shake drinks and other smoothie-type drinks.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:20 AM on March 16, 2011

Good luck with your procedures then, it will all be soon a vague memory and you can enjoy your new restorations with all your normal eats.
posted by Jazz Hands at 12:49 PM on March 16, 2011

The Progresso canned soups have the nicest chopped carrots in them. I'm not sure what it is about them but they are very soft and melt in your mouth, which is nice.

Just a warning though-- make sure you're drinking plenty of water with this much store-bought instant soft food stuff in your diet, since most of it is gonna be pretty salty.

Don't underestimate how filling milk by itself can be (if you like milk). If you're allowed to do hot things, hot cocoa is good too.

Trader Joe's has some great Greek yogurts if you're going that route. The strawberry is my favorite.

And I'll second not overdoing it too much on anything you normally like that happens to fit into this diet if you don't want to be scared off of it for a long time :)
posted by NoraReed at 2:27 PM on March 16, 2011

When I had my wisdom teeth out, after the first couple of days I couldn't stand eating soup anymore. I pretty much just stopped eating until I was healed enough to eat solid food again. Good diet! :)
posted by BryanPayne at 3:08 PM on March 16, 2011

« Older How long did it take you to feel settled after...   |   who can program my keyless remote Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.